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and the golden bough Of sacred Plato, shining in its worth. And he threw in Aratus learned in stars, Cutting the first spires of his heaven-high pine, Chæræmon's leafy lotus, mixing it With flox of Phædimus and chamomile – The crinkled oxeye — of Antagoras, And fresh green thyme of Theodoridas – The wine cup's charm — and Phanieus' beanflowers too, With many shoots fresh sprung of other bards, Adding thereto white early violets Of his own muse. But to my friends I give Thanks. And this gracious coronal of song Be for all such as love these holy things.

There it is with its 'en voi.'Nothing about order except the order of taste, as if he were really plaiting a garland — just the praise of a book of pleasant verses. Now, to make any portion of the Anthology come to us anything like what Meleager's collection was, we want to make a wreath of songs too — to get a taste of a great many writers at their best. Only we must plait our flowers with this difference — that Meleager's own early violets take the place of a great many of the poets' flowers whom he quoted.

I For convenience in citation we have numbered these versions consecutively, -sixty-three in all. Ep. BIBELOT.

Mr. Wright's little book, " The Golden Treasury of Greek Poetry, published in 1867 in the Clarendon Press Series, gives a taste of a great many very good, nay, perhaps best, things, all through Greek literature, and his specimens from the Anthology are as good as the rest. The book is handy and available; and he has tied up the epigrams in groups which give some sort of order, and allow a sufficient variety. It were pity to do again what he has done so well, especially as by choosing his selection nearly all references and Greek letters can be avoided ; so I shall take it for basis, and try and be clear and simple in my renderings and as interesting as I can. I shall want to add some few epigrams, nearly all of them Meleager's, and shall do so from time to time at the end of that group of Mr. Wright's to which they severally appertain.

We need not trouble ourselves about all the very classical epitaphs which form his first group. They have not the personal

1 The second edition, augmented and revised by Evelyn Abbott, M. A., LL. D., was published at Oxford in 1889.

interest of those which come later in the fourth section, being for the most part rhetorical exercises - models of brevity and fulness in the Greek, but thankless in English verse, and indeed in print altogther. The longest of them, for instance, which has its locus classicus in Demosthenes' De Coronâ, has been done scores of times and never yet made thrilling. It is no doubt rather out of compliment and custom that Mr. Wright has included it. Scholars look for it everywhere, and I hope they will not be disappointed to forego their favourite here; it is quite too involved for translation, and has in itself none of the special charm of the Greek epigram — terseness with limpidity.

Here are his first two, epitaphs of Simonides, who lived a good five hundred years before Christ, On them that fell with Leonidas :'

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For their dear country these her quenchless glory

Won, for themselves the dusky shroud of death. By that same death they live, whose echoing story

Rings from the halls Hades inhabiteth.



Stranger ! tell Lacedæmon - here we lie!
Hers was the word and ours the will to die.

And here is a fine traditionary epitaph for Achilles :


This mound, the Achæans reared, -- Achilles' tomb

For terror to the Trojans yet to be,
Leans shoreward that his mighty spirit whom

Sea Thetis bore may hear its dirge of the sea. I should like to add this noble and characteristic one of Dioscorides. (I promised one of his for the sake of Meleager's wreath.) But I am afraid I must give a reference here to the Palatine Anthology (vii. 434).


The mother sent eight sons against the foe

Eight sons beneath one pillar buried she, Nor wept for grief, nor spake aught else but —'Oh, These children, Sparta, did I bear for thee!'

And now, commencing Mr. Wright's second section, we come straight upon Meleager's 'Spring Song,' which might be—I had almost written must be — Spenser's work in Greek, and which is one of the loveliest as it is one of the longest pieces in the Anthology. As there is evidently the Alexandrian touch about it, and the work is almost of the Christian era, I shall expand it a little more, in English, than I should venture to do were it the work of an earlier period :




Now wintry winds are banished from the sky,

Gay laughs the blushing face of flowery Spring :
Now lays the land her duskier raiment by
And dons her grass-green vest, for signal why

Young plants may choose themselves apparelling. Now, drinking tender dews of generous morn,

The meadows break into their summer smile,

The rose unfolds her leaves : and glad, the while, In far-off hills the shepherd winds his horn,

And his white brede the goatherd's heart beguile. Now sail the sailors over billowing seas

While careless Zephyr fills the canvas fair,

And singing crowds with dances debonnair
Praise Dionysus for the grapes' increase -

The berried ivy twisted in their hair.
Forth from the rotting hide now bees are come -

Deft craftsmen working well and warily

And in the hive they settle, while they ply Fresh-flowing waxen store, with busy hum,

And small pierced cells for their sweet industry. Now shrilleth clear each several bird his note.

The Halcyon charms the wave that knows no gale, About our eaves the swallow tells her tale,

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